All We Do Is Fight!!! (How To Fight Fair) Part 2
“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not:ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain:ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
Why do we fight? Why do we fight against each other? Webster’s dictionary defines fighting as “a battle or combat, any contest or struggle involving anger or any other adverse emotion.” By this definition, we see that fights are nothing more than disagreements that are fueled by anger or any other adverse emotion. Having said this, I don’t believe that it is so much the situation that causes fights as it is the emotional response elicited. This week we will go into detail on how to fight fair and win the fight by losing the fight. Join us as we learn how to fight fair.
6. Fight By Mutual Consent
In the military, we live and fight by rules of war. This means that a soldier Never attacks non-combatants. A non-combatant is someone that is void of personal defenses to protect themselves from an aggressive attack. In like manner, if your spouse or children aren’t willing to fight due to injury: emotional, mental or physical this is not a fair fight. It has the same implication of a “fixed” hunt. That is tying a drugged wild animal to a tree and having a hunter take a shot to kill it. You may win the prize for winning the argument but what about the feelings about your spouse or loved one. That is known as a Pyrrhic Victory! A Pyrrhic Victory is a win that comes at such a great price that it’s a defeat. Like a wife wanting information from her husband that she presses him in such a manner that she make him afraid to talk to her anymore. The bible says in Proverbs 20:18 “Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.” Good communication about your actions and your intentions ensures that there are not lapses in communication.
7. Stick To The Subject
When a number of issues seem to be accumulating, present them one at a time. If you have not resolved past issues, put them on a current or future agenda. Make sure both of you go beyond skirmishing, insult rituals, or angry displays. Shooting broadside like a roaring cannon prevents resolution.
All too often couples tend to bring up past issues, as a way to prove a point but if your have forgiven these issues don’t resist them. Once you have buried a deceased loved one, you can’t invite them to come back for a conversation. Once an issue is dead, forgiven and released, choosing to revisit it is both childish and not Christ-like. Ask yourself these question when you are tempted to do this:
- What point am I attempting to do by pulling a dead issue up?
- How is God getting glory?
- Am I doing this because I want answers?
- Is this something that I am willing to help the offender resolve?
Don’t overwhelm your loved one what I can “shot-gun” accusation or items. Stick to one thing until you resolve that area and go into another area. God made us to be in one place at a time not multiple at one time. Let’s consider this when we communicate grievances instead of scattering our thoughts as far as they can go.
8. State The Issue Honestly & Clearly
Too often we will exaggerate the issue because we are emotionally high and mentally engaged. If you intend to fight fair there are a few things that you must remember:
Avoid using overly emotional adjectives to describe a behavior or past action. For example: If someone has been late to an appoint a few times, don’t say “You are ALWAYS late.” This does not describe their behavior accurately. If you are actually honest, you would probably not say that they are always late. However, because their bad behavior effects you in a time that is important to you, it seems in that moment, they are habitually late. These types of words put people on the defensive and are the fodder for unfair fights. If they have been late twice, be honest and tell them that they have been late twice but those two times were important times to you.
This is another area where couples get into trouble and create fights. For example: One person makes the statement “You have hurt me today and I really didn’t appreciate it.” Now honestly, what do you take from that statement? It is not clear! It lets the person know your feelings of hurt and disappointment but offers no feedback of corrective action. This actual conversation should have gone this way: “You have hurt my feelings. I really didn’t appreciate _______ because it made me feel ________. Could we work on this so that we don not upset or offend each other again in the future?” It is not enough to tell someone that they did wrong, but you should give them some feedback on how to make it right. If you aren’t being clear about your feelings, how will another person know them? Thats like expecting a stranger to read your mind and know your position on things when they don’t even know what you look like.
9. Don’t Camouflage
Don’t evade a deeper grievance by allowing your feelings to center only on less important or extraneous issues. “The potatoes are too salty tonight!” might be a minor irritant that covers the unspoken, “I don’t think that you understand all the pressure I’m under at work!”
This happens to be a major issues when it comes to close relationships. One person will have a bad day and because of that, they will see life through what I call “Negative Glasses”. This person will begin to find any issue that they would normally give grace but today their grace tank is either empty or non-functional. The bible tells us in
II Corinthians 4:15-18
“For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen:for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
We should not show attitudes because we have bad days. That it childish and NOT Christ-like. If you aren’t able to control your own emotions, then ask God to help you with your control. Taking it out on someone else is not fighting fair. This is basically an ambush! You’re hiding behind the safety of something to prevent you from being blamed for an attack; but an ambush is still an attack!
10. Slow To Fight?
If one of you feels afraid to fight, this should not evoke a put down but rather may be a fear of being hurt or rejected. Put the fear on the agenda for later discussion. This just means that one may avoid fighting because of a past that was full of fighting. They may choose to resolve issues by talking through it and remaining calm.
Just because someone doesn’t show their emotions outwardly, as others may do, this does not mean that they do not care or are not emotionally involved. To assume that, is to put your feelings above theirs. When you expect them to be upset like you or you say that they don’t care because they don’t show it is wrong. The message that you are sending is “I am better than you because I show my emotions and you aren’t as good as me! Besides, I don’t really believe that you feel like me because you aren’t showing it. So I’m basically calling you a liar!”
We are reminded in the bible that “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.” Proverbs 15:18 KJV. This person may not always show their emotions on their sleeve, especially anger, but they are the ones that usually calm those down that do show anger. This makes them upset because they seldom get angry and refuse to fight back. It’s beating up a person that doesn’t fight back. You will exert all of this energy but at the end you are worn out and feel back for attacking someone that has done nothing to you.
Today we see that there are a lot of things that have the ability to cause issues in the lives of others and from you to them. Considering the feelings of others will help us understand a lot more about life and build stronger relationships. In tomorrows devotional we will talk more about the things that we can do to fight fair. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.